Competition horses taking part in a wide range of disciplines are prone to developing minor injuries that often go unnoticed. Eventually these build up and cause the horse to compensate by altering its way of moving and this makes it susceptible to more serious injury.

What conditions can acupuncture be used for?

Acupuncture can be used as part of a treatment protocol for almost any medical condition with very little exception. It is often used in combination with conventional veterinary treatment so the patient experiences the benefits of the combined effects.

In equine practice, acupuncture is commonly used together with chiropractic for the relief of musculoskeletal pain. It is especially useful for treating:

Any type of muscle soreness, particularly of the neck, shoulders, back and hindquarters.

  • Cold backs – resentment of saddling and girthing, dipping on mounting
  • general stiffness, inability to bend on one or both reins
  • Head tilt, inability to flex from the poll
  • Shortness of stride, not going forward from the leg
  • Disunited or bunny-hopping at canter
  • Moving un-level behind
  • ‘Hopping’ on the transition from walk to trot
  • Bucking on the transition from trot to canter
  • Irritability and soreness during grooming
  • Arthritis
  • Sacroiliac pain
  • Headshaker syndromes.

As well Acupuncture is used to influence the function of internal organs.

  • Respiratory problems
  • Dermatological problems
  • Gynaecological problems in mares, including infertility
  • Poor immunity and post viral lethargy
  • Digestive problems including loss of appetite, diarrhoea and some types of colic

Julia places an acupuncture needle into a horse's fetlock

Treating lameness with acupuncture:

Lameness whose cause and localisation cannot be determined by conventional medicine and lameness radiating from the upper areas of the limbs can be successfully treated by acupuncture. Lameness caused by an inflamed joint must first be subjected to conventional joint treatment. Acupuncture can be performed subsequently to restore physiological muscle and ligament functions. Lameness requiring surgical treatment and immobilisation of the horse can be positively supported by acupuncture during the training redevelopment phase.

Treating backache with acupuncture: Acupuncture can be used to treat all kinds of back pain and attendant lameness. For example, horses with muscle tensions arising from intense exertion and who are unable to swing their backs properly or display lameness respond excellently to acupuncture.

This includes disobedience during riding caused by pain.

Acupuncture can be used to treat painful disorders of the musculoskeletal system.